(Reuters) The United States has refused a request from Russia that convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout be returned to his home country to spend the remainder of his 25-year prison term, a Russian Foreign Ministry official said on Saturday.

Bout, 54, was sentenced in April after a Manhattan federal court trial jury convicted him on charges that he agreed to sell arms to people he thought were militants intent on attacking American soldiers in Colombia.

He was the subject of a book called “Merchant of Death” and inspiration for a film “Lord of War” starring Nicolas Cage.

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